Friday, November 16, 2007

Meteorological Blues II

Berlin these days seems to have hit a new gray note: just when you thought it couldn't get too much more dismal, you realize it's not nearly winter yet, and February and March are bound to be worse. First there was a big storm system up on the North Sea, which gave us a decent amount of rain and a drop in temperature (ooh- and our first snow). But the low temperatures have stuck around, and so has the drizzle and the intermittent snowflakes. And today it was dark before 5, to which I say, wow.

Just checked the weather, though, and it's supposed to be back up to 50 before long-- what is up with this weather?

I don't really have the blues, though, it's just a little hard to get up and go when it's 34 and drizzling!

I am enjoying my Civil Rights movement class. My friend Elisabeth, who's in the class with me, and I bought David Halberstam's The Children to supplement our education. My copy came today and I can't wait to dive into it. One last little bit: the other day, BBCWorld, which I listen to all the time on my radio, had an interview with someone in Erie, PA as part of a small story on an anonymous donor giving a lot of money to Erie charities. It was very funny to think that I have been to Erie many times, and yet, here I am, sitting in Berlin, listening to the same radio story that people in Capetown and Kuala Lampur are listening to.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Prague was beautiful! I was there from 1-5 November, and met up with my good friends, Olivia and Meaghan, from Toronto. As beautiful (and refreshingly typically European compared to Berlin) as Prague was, it was wonderful to see my friends again.

Olivia and I stayed in a hostel in the neighborhood of Zizkov. After initially being a little worried that the hostel would prove to be too far out of the city center, we soon learned that pretty much all of Prague is very walkable. The entire time, I used the subway probably four times, and two of those were because I had luggage. Olivia and I spent a lot of time walking from one place to another, taking in the impossibly narrow streets and the oh-so-pretty buildings. Olivia is convinced that Disneyland was modeled after Prague. We walked up to the top of the hill in the old city where the castle and main church are, but were too tired to be interested in paying more than the cost of dinner to go in. That's one thing I really liked about Prague-- it's so cheap! It manages to make Berlin look expensive, which is very hard to do. One night, five of us (Meaghan knew some other people in Prague from Paris) ate dinner for the equivalent of about 18€, including a beer or two per person. Speaking of which, beer is the cost of bottled water there. No joke.

One sight that I did see was the Jewish cemetary. Well, we peered in through a door (it is walled), and couldn't figure out if it is possible to actually go in. At any rate, it was sufficiently creepy, as it was Sunday, so the city was fairly empty, dark, and you knew some of those graves are super-old. It was cool. We also saw the astronomical clock (smaller than you think it's going to be) and peeked into St Jacob's Basilica, but couldn't figure out how to get in there, either.

During the train ride home, I realized how excited I was to be coming back to Berlin. It's nice to like your home base!
Next stops: Istanbul, Bratislava

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Prague Photos

I have uploaded my pictures from Prague onto Flickr, and, if I remember correctly, there is a link to my Flickr on the right-hand side of this blog. There aren't too many, I know, but I thought for three out of four days that I was there that I had forgotten an outlet convertor. I finally found the outlet convertor on Sunday, but on that day my friends and I spent hours eating a late brunch, and when we left, it was almost dark. And then by the time we walked into Old Town, it was dark. Daylight Savings Time is killing me!- it was dark today by 5, and I mean completely, middle-of-the-night dark. So between the weakness of my battery and the weakness of the sun, I ended up with only a few pictures. I'm going to get some more off of Olivia, though, who became our official picture-taker when I thought my battery was going to die.